In the August 2009 issue of Body and Soul Magazine, and nice little blurb in there about the benefits of breathing. Any good Yoga Teacher will have you do this in class, or a similar variation of it, and have you breath with your poses. Good way to reduce your stress.
The article is :Feel your Best! The 17 most trusted names integrative health give their top advice for preventing illness, revving up energy, easing stress and more….Here is Andrew Weil, M.D.’s advise.
“Just Breathe” Practice deep breathing regularly and you can lower blood pressure and heart rate, improve digestion, sleep better, and lower stress.” says Andrew Weil, M.D., integrative-medicine pioneer and author of the forthcoming Why Our Health Matters . To reap these benefits, try Weil’s 4-7-8 breath:
Prepare by placing the tip of your tongue against the ridge behind your front teeth; keep it there throughout the exercise.
- Exhale through your mouth, making a “whoosh” sound. Then, for the exercise, inhale deeply and quietly though your nose (mouth closed) for a count of four
- Hold for a count of seven, and
- Exhale audibly through your mouth for a count a eight.
- Repeat the exercise for a total of four breath cycles twice a day. After a month, if you’re comfortable with it, increase to eight breaths each time.
There is a similar breath pattern that I was taught in YogaFit called the retention breath. Didn’t specifically do the counting, but there was the inhale, pause inhale some more, exhale all of the breath out of the lungs. The belly rising and sinking with the breath pattern. You can just feel the tension in the room dissipate. Good stuff! Gaileee